In the United States, car accidents are a top cause of teen fatalities.
There are multiple reasons for this, ranging from driver experience to cell phone use behind the wheel. In the event that your child was injured in a car accident, here’s what you need to know:
Driving While Distracted
Distracted driving causes many fatal accidents for both teens and adults. However, teens often use their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, either to text, talk, or locate a destination. Other forms of distracted driving include putting on makeup, eating, and changing the radio station.
Not Enough Experience
Teens generally don’t have a lot of experience behind the wheel by nature, but this is a significant factor in teen car wrecks. Teenagers should participate in a driver’s ed course and make sure they get plenty of practice driving in a wide variety of situations.
In the state of California, there is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Those below 21 years of age can be charged for a DUI if their BAC is over 0.01% when they’re pulled over, which is generally less than the amount of a single drink. Despite this, teens continue to drink and get behind the wheel, causing fatal accidents.
Passengers in the Car
Passengers generally aren’t a safety concern in and of themselves. Teens, however, tend to be excitable and loud, which can distract the driver. They may talk back and forth to the person in the front passenger seat, or may move excessively, making it difficult for the driver to maintain awareness of the sounds and movements outside the vehicle.
Most everyone is guilty of speeding at one time or another, but often, it’s just a handful of miles over the posted speed limit. On the other hand, teens who aren’t familiar with the roads or who perhaps missed seeing the speed limit sign may go significantly faster, to the point of engaging in reckless driving.
What to Do If Your Teen Was Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Was your child hurt in a car crash? It’s critical that you take action as soon as possible to secure your teen’s rights to compensation for damages related to the accident, including but not limited to lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.